I met my husband Leo while writing letters to soldiers in World War II. I lied about my age and said I was seventeen, but really I was fourteen. Leo didn't go overseas because he had measles and a high temperature, so we met over here and got married. On the day I married him his father said, “He’s a good boy but he talks too much.” I married him anyways and it was the worst thing I ever did. It was a rotten marriage.
Leo had a big mouth and told everyone everything. Being able to confide in your partner is one of the most important aspects of a marriage, but I couldn't speak to Leo about anything because he announced everything to the world. In over fifty years of marriage there was nothing private.
He was an electrician. One time he was working at someone’s house and nobody could get in touch with him. I went to the house to make sure he was okay and I found him with another woman. But at that point I didn't care – I didn't love him anymore.
I met ‘Blackie’ at a resort in the Catskills. His name was Al but everyone called him ‘Blackie’ because he was tall and dark-haired and handsome. I ran a day camp for children and one day Blackie came in to ask questions about the camp. At the time, I was unhappily married with two kids and he was unhappily married with two kids. As soon as I saw him I knew he was the love of my life. I know he felt the same way. We kissed that day and for the next twenty years we had a love affair. We were madly in love.
We spent the summers together in the Catskills. During the winters I went back to my home in West Palm Beach but Blackie stayed in New York because he was an NYPD detective. Even though we were separated we spoke every single day. Eventually he asked me to run away with him but I told him I couldn’t because of my children.
One time, later in our relationship, we spent the entire night in a hotel room. The next day he called and said, “the sky is turning white.” I told him to lay down. I never heard from him again and knew he died that day. The only good thing is that he didn't die while we were in bed together at the hotel. My life would have turned out differently if we got caught. It would have been a whole different me, a whole different life – I got away with that one.
There is another dark-haired, attractive man here (in the assisted living facility). The other day someone said they wanted to introduce me to him, but I’m not interested in anyone. I still live in the past because I’ve had a wonderful past and that’s where Blackie lives. He died on earth but he lives on in my mind. I can see him now, clear as anything.
My relationship with Blackie is still a secret and I'm still in love. I’ve never spoken to anyone about him. He gave me a ring that I still wear every single day. My daughter got it re-sized for me the other day. She doesn’t know Blackie gave it to me or that he even existed.
Blackie has been dead for years but I’m still desperately in love with him – he was the love of my life. When my husband died, he died. I didn’t think of him anymore, but there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of Blackie. Our relationship wasn’t perfect but I was very fortunate. Not everyone gets to fall madly in love with someone. I did.
Goose Chronicles Outtakes:
“I am 87 now but next year I am going to turn 86. I’m tired of growing older. I think I’ll start growing younger – doesn’t that sound more fun?”
“I was born in Harlem but spent most of my life in West Palm Beach. I just came here (to the assisted living facility) to be closer to my family. My first day I was miserable, but I refuse to be miserable for the rest of my life. Life is what you make it. I decided this is where I was going to live the rest of my life and be happy doing it.
“Any love life advice?”
“Don't get married and it'll last forever. Something happens when you get married. You take each other for granted. The point is to love someone the way I did and do till this day.”